Maine Trails, June-July '10
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Board to rule on Abandonment
Worst Road in Maine
Annual reporting
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Woman’s $1,000 woes win ‘Worst Road in Maine’ contest

Statewide contest draws entries from all corners; seven other roads singled out as among Maine’s worst

In the end, it was Martha Jordan’s frustration and dangerous encounter with a particularly bad pothole that got the attention of judges and won her entry – Route 219 from Turner to Leeds – the dubious title of “Worst Road in Maine.” Jordan’s photos and her story of a bent rim, busted tire, lost wheel bearing and $1,000 repair bill comprised one of many entries from all corners of state.
 
“Martha’s experience may seem extreme, but it is a lot more common that most might imagine,” said Maine Better Transportation Association Executive Director Maria Fuentes. “A recent study shows that the average Mainer pays $250 a year in added vehicle maintenance costs due to bad roads, but the truth is there is a greater cost.”
 
Jordan and her husband Roland won the top prize in the contest – a $250 gift certificate for car repair. Mary Taylor Bunker of Swanville won second prize for her entry, Route 141 in Swanville, a road she described as plagued with cracked, spider-webbed pavement, a bad shoulder and one very dangerous intersection. John Mancini won third prize for his photos of River Road, a road he has traveled for more than 30 years and seen deteriorate and grow more dangerous every year. Runners up – roads in Orono, Hudson, Lewiston, Washington and Fort Kent – were also chosen from among the entries.
 
“There are a lot of roads in Maine that are badly in need of reconstruction or repair. The truth is, any one of these eight roads could have been the ‘Worst road in Maine,’ but Martha’s story and photos really speak to the frustration and financial hardship that bad roads cause every day on the way to work or taking the kids to school,” said Fuentes.
 
Fix Maine Roads, and the “Worst Road in Maine” contest are part of a public awareness campaign by the Maine Better Transportation Association. Maine has some of the worst roads in New England. Currently, 26 percent of Maine’s federal-aid highways have poor pavement, according to an analysis of recent data from the Federal Highway Administration. And Maine’s roads have been declining for more than a decade. In the mid-1990s, only 5 percent of the state’s highways were ranked “poor.”
 
For more information about the winning/worst roads
and MBTA’s advocacy efforts to promote safer, more efficient transportation in Maine, visit FixMaineRoads.org or www.mbtaonline.org.
 
‘Worst Road in Maine’ contest winners
 
1ST PRIZE:    Route 219 in Turner, nominated by Martha and Roland Jordan
2ND PRIZE:    Route 141 in Swanville, nominated by Delbert and Mary Taylor Bunker
3RD PRIZE:    River Road in Windham, nominated by John Mancini
RUNNER UP: College Street in Lewiston, nominated by Paul Beaudette
RUNNER UP: Forest Avenue in Orono, nominated by Peggy Leonard Markson
RUNNER UP: Route 43 from Hudson to Old Town, nominated by Faith Pineo
RUNNER UP: Route 220 from Washington to Thorndike, nominated by Laura Pepler Jade 
RUNNER UP: Route 161, west of Fort Kent, nominated by Steve Rusnack      
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